Is Kerry a Liberal?

Well, yeah, sort of. I’m not the guy to defend Kerry against this particular charge; my hero is the late Paul Wellstone, who was unquestionably more liberal than Kerry.

And yeah, Kerry really is from Massachusetts too. Kerry and the Democrats are really going to have to take the bull by the horns on this one. Kerry has stated his intention of attacking rather than letting himself be put on the defensive — thank God — and once Bush’s wretched record on counter-terrorism is widely known, half the “Massachusetts liberal” smear will become inoperative. Bush is supposedly “strong on defense”, but you don’t become strong on defense by talking loud, strutting around in a flight suit, and tying the American military down in the wrong country. Iraq was never the main problem.

As for the rest of it: deep down, most Americans would rather live in Massachusetts, California, or Minnesota than in Texas or Alabama. There is indeed a bigoted demographic which has a bitter hatred of Northerners and liberals, and they should be allowed to vote for George W. Bush. But there are also a lot of voters who thoughtlessly buy the “Northern liberal” smear without really being quite that bigoted, and we should change their minds. Massachusetts is America too.

P.S. And New York is also America. When al-Qaeda wanted to hurt us, they didn’t attack Dallas.

Really, why should they have? They have lots of friends in Dallas.

Conason on the “Liberal” Charge